Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

SD Public Broadcasting getting $85,000 fed grant

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota Public Broadcasting is getting a federal grant of nearly $85,000 to restore broadcast coverage in Custer County.

The money is through a federal Agriculture Department effort to expand high-speed Internet access and boost communications infrastructure in rural areas across the country.

The grant to South Dakota Public Broadcasting will pay for equipment upgrades.

The government is doling out more than $190 million in grants and loans nationwide.

Union Pacific 3Q profit chugs ahead 19 percent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Union Pacific Corp. delivered a 19 percent increase in its third-quarter profit as the railroad hauled 7 percent more freight and increased rates.

“We are optimistic about the remainder of the year,” CEO Jack Koraleski said. “Assuming the economy and weather cooperate, we are well positioned to finish up the year with record results.”

The Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad said on Oct. 23 that it earned $1.37 billion, or $1.53 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That’s up from $1.15 billion, or $1.24 per share, a year ago.

Union Pacific’s revenue climbed 11 percent to $6.18 billion from $5.57 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Union Pacific to report earnings per share of $1.51 on revenue of $6.10 billion.

Union Pacific reported the most growth in shipments of intermodal shipping containers, industrial products and agricultural goods.

Feds give SD cities funds for rural water systems

PARKSTON, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota cities of Menno, Parkston and Wagner are among rural communities nationwide that will receive upgrades to water and wastewater systems with more than $340 million in grants and loans from the federal Agriculture Department.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the cities’ share of funding. Menno is receiving a $1 million loan to upgrade the sewer sanitary system. Parkston is getting a $300,000 loan to extend sanitary sewer collection lines and add additional hook-ups.

Wagner is getting a $1.75 million loan and a $200,000 grant for upgrades to its water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer systems.

The federal agency is providing $175 million in loans and $165 million in grants through the Water and Environmental Program.

Chicken Kiev linked to Minnesota outbreak recalled

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Federal authorities say a Chicago company has recalled nearly 29,000 pounds of chicken Kiev products linked to a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the raw, frozen chicken entrees from the Aspen Foods division of Koch Meats were sold as Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. They were sold at several grocery chains in single 5-ounce packages with a USDA stamped code of P-1358.

Minnesota health and agricultural officials say the products were linked to six salmonella cases in the state in August and September, including one hospitalization.

They say this was the state’s first salmonella outbreak linked to these types of raw chicken products since 2008, when labelling requirements were changed to make them state that the products are raw.

USDA gives loans for broadband in 3 ND counties

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded loans totaling more than $4.5 million to North Dakota rural telecommunications providers to establish and expand broadband service to rural areas of Stutsman, Morton and Oliver counties.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says “Internet access is a vital tool for improving our citizens’ quality of life.”

BEK Communications Cooperative will receive a loan of $2.1 million to establish a network that will provide broadband service in an unserved rural area of Stutsman County. Daktel Communication LLC will be awarded $2.3 million to establish a network that will provide broadband service in northeast Morton County and southeast Oliver County.

Swine farm plans to rebuild after massive fire

TRUMAN, Minn. (AP) — Managers of a huge swine farm in southern Minnesota say they intend to rebuild after losing up to 11,000 sows and piglets in a weekend fire.

Pipestone System manages the Cougar Run Farm near Truman. Pipestone CEO Luke Minion says it could take seven months to rebuild a farm of this size.

Minion says 4,000 sows and 6,000 to 7,000 piglets were killed in the fire on Oct. 25. He says they were able to save about 1,300 sows.

Twelve independent producers own the farrowing operation in Martin County.

Firefighters from 10 agencies battled the massive fire for at least four hours Saturday afternoon. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Minnesota farmers win $6.3M in hurt cows lawsuit

PINE RIVER, Minn. (AP) — A Cass County judge has awarded $6.3 million to a couple whose milk cows were injured or killed by stray voltage on their dairy farm from a Brainerd utility company.

KTTC-TV reports the judge awarded the damages to Randy and Peggy Norman of Pine River after finding Crow Wing Power was negligent in the delivery of electricity to the farm.

The Normans’ lawyers say the couple lost their entire dairy herd due to electricity coursing through their farm for 20 years. Attorneys say Randy Norman repeatedly asked Crow Wing Power to help address the problems with his herd and its diminished milk production.

Grain elevator blaze started at top of structure

BARNEY, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say firefighters worked 90 feet above the ground to battle a grain elevator fire in the southeastern North Dakota town of Barney.

The large grain dryer fire reported on the morning of Oct. 25 at the Minn-Kota elevator was based at the top of the elevator. Special equipment was brought in from Wahpeton because of the location of the fire.

No injuries were reported.

KFGO radio reports that fire departments and law enforcement from Barney, Mooreton, Wyndmere, Mantador, Dwight, Lidgerwood and Milnor responded to the fire.

Minn. governor signs order easing propane transfer rules

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has temporarily lifted some rules governing the transport of propane.

Dayton signed an executive order on Oct. 24 that allows propane delivery drivers a longer daily window to transport the product. They would still face limits on the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel. The order is similar to ones he’s signed in the past to combat distribution shortages. Last year, propane shortages drove up heating costs.

Because of late planting and harvesting, propane is in higher demand as farmers work to dry their crops.

The order will be in place through Nov. 23.